Date: 06-20-09 08:34
The following snippet is the caption to one of the photos in a slide show that accompanies a June 18, 2009 feature article titled "Postcards from Equatorial Guinea" found at the New Yorker magazine's web site:
There are at least five thousand Chinese now living in Equatorial Guinea. Typical of its Africa strategy, China has granted President Obiang almost one billion dollars worth of grants to spend on construction, plus another six or seven billion dollars in low-interest loans to be drawn against projects carried out by Chinese companies using Chinese labor. In return, China is able to lift some of E.G.’s oil for fifty dollars a barrel. Not only is the interior of Equatorial Guinea dotted with Chinese housing and construction compounds, but Chinese merchants run shops in virtually every town; they are becoming Africa’s new Lebanese.
The article may be found at the following link:
It's slide number 8. I had a Dickens of a time finding it. ;-0
Are the Chinese the new "Lebanese" of Africa?
Here are a few snippets from an article posted at the thread titled "Are The Chinese The World's Most Successful Diaspora?" (found at the following link: http://www.asiawind.com/forums/read.php?f=11&i=114920&t=114920 ) on the Lebanese:
Some of the world's richest men have Lebanese backgrounds and, surprisingly, many of the big business families of Latin America and West Africa are Lebanese. As a group, it has parallels with the overseas Chinese and other entrepreneurial migrant minorities that have been aided in their success by cross-border family networks. Their success in business, politics and entertainment, particularly in south and central America and Africa, is all the more surprising given Lebanon's tiny population of just 3.8 million.
Wall Street has some big hitters with Lebanese backgrounds, including John Mack, CEO and chairman of Morgan Stanley; Paul Orfalea, founder of US copying and printing chain Kinko; Roger Farah, former CEO of Footlocker and now president of Polo Ralph Lauren; and Ray Irani, CEO of Occidental Petroleum. In Latin America, Carlos Menem, former president of Argentina, is ethnically Lebanese, as are Jamil Mahuad and Abdala Bucaram Ortiz, two recent presidents of Ecuador, and Tarek Halabi, leader of the political party founded by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
Forbes puts Lebanese-Mexican Carlos Slim's wealth at $24 billion, making him the richest man in Latin America and the fourth richest in the world. He acquired Telmex, Mexico's main telecoms company when it was privatised in the 1990s, and now controls other telecoms companies in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Alfredo Helu is another billionaire Lebanese Mexican. He was a co-owner of Banamex, the biggest bank in Latin America, before it was acquired by Citigroup; he also owns Avantel, Mexico's second largest telecoms company.
In Brazil, the nut industry is almost entirely in the hands of various offshoots of the Syrian-Lebanese Mutran family. Like many other overseas Lebanese, Carlos Ghosn grew up in Brazil. Today, Ghosn is CEO of Renault and Nissan Motors and on the boards of Alcoa, IBM and Sony.
Some expatriate Lebanese have Jewish ancestry. The banker Edmond Safra, who by the 1990s had amassed a $2.5 billion fortune, fled anti-Jewish riots in Beirut in 1949 with his parents. They moved to Italy and then to Brazil in 1952, where they took up Brazilian citizenship. Safra controlled his banking empire from Monaco, where he died in 1999.
In West Africa, the local Lebanese dominate the commercial sectors of Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia and the Ivory Coast. In 2005, four diamond companies accounted for 90% of the $142 million trade in diamonds legally exported from Sierra Leone. All four are owned by local Lebanese families.
Hmmm, the founder of Kinkos is Lebanese as is Carlos Slim of Mexico.
It seems that there is also a lot of Lebanese in Brazil.
Will the Chinese come to dominate the commercial sectors of Africa as the local Lebanese now do in West Africa?
Why isn't anyone writing a new book on the Chinese Diaspora?
There's got to be a lot more Chinese in the diasporic community since Lynn Pan last published her book.
For more about the Lebanese visit the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_people Wikipedia entry for "Lebanese people"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Lebanon Wikipedia entry for "Demographics of Lebanon"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Lebanese_people Wikipedia entry for "List of Lebanese people"